The use is described of cryogenically cooled, extrinsic silicon infrared detectors in an unconventional mode of operation which offers an unusually large dynamic range. The system performs intensity-to-frequency conversion at the focal plane via simple circuits with very low power consumption. The incident IR intensity controls the repetition rate of short duration output pulses over a pulse rate dynamic range of about 10(6). Theory indicates the possibility of monotonic and approx. linear response over the full dynamic range. A comparison between the theoretical and the experimental results shows that the model provides a reasonably good description of experimental data. Some measurements of survivability with a very intense IR source were made on these devices and found to be very encouraging. Evidence continues to indicate that some variations in interpulse time intervals are deterministic rather than probabilistic.